Yet Another Coffeeshop Courtesy Story!

It feels like I write a lot of these stories on my blog, but in my defense, these are stories that happen to me and affect me. In my earlier rants, it was more of a “courtesy is dead” sort of thing. But today’s story, one that happened to me a few years ago, is one in which the guy I talk about lacks common sense, behaved like an absolute spoilt brat (which I think he is in actuality), and was a tad bit sexist, if I think about it in hindsight.

I even went on a rant on a Twitter thread at the time. Here’s the thread if you just want to read it: Common Sense is Rare – a thread.

As you know because I keep saying this over and over again (it’s become a problem), I usually go to a Starbucks store that’s about half an hour away from home because it is my favorite place to sit and work. The day this happened was no different. I went in, looked to see if my favorite table was free, and on not finding it, placed my bag on a chair at a table that is just near the staff room, if you’d like to call it. I sat there for a few minutes, checking my phone, and once that was done, which was mere minutes later, I went to order. There was a queue so it took some time for me to place my order.

When I returned, there was a guy sitting at my table, legs spread wide in imperious ownership as certain men are wont to do and drinking the dregs of his coffee. The cap and the cup holder were strewn across the table like he hadn’t appropriated it but as if I had intruded, placed my bag, and left. The unspoken coffee shop rule of etiquette says that you don’t sit at a table where there’s already someone’s belongings before you ask them for permission to do so. But this guy had other ideas.

I looked at him, puzzled, and said, “Excuse me?”

The genius points to my bag and says, “There’s already someone here.” Which is okay but it applies to you as well, no genius? You need to ask that “someone” for permission before you sit down and not act like it’s your table and your area?

So my eyebrows went further up and by this point I’m half-exasperated. What sort of a man was this fellow?

“I know. That’s my bag,” I tell him, my eyebrows showing what I was feeling.

And the guy did something that to this day I feel exasperated and disgusted about. He smiles and goes, “Oh, okay,” finishes off his coffee, leaves the cup on the table and leaves. Before I could react, he had turned, sprinted down the steps, and was out the door. I was left staring at him in shocked annoyance. The memory of that man, who felt entitled to strewing his things on a table and expecting someone else to pick his shit up, to this day, boils my blood.

It is common sense. Plain common sense that if YOU messed something up, it is your responsibility to either throw that damn cup in the bin or at least get it cleaned by the staff. You can’t expect people to clear up after you. You might have people at home who do that for you – and that’s probably why you’re so entitled – but in a public place, have some sense! Plus, to grin and leave, thinking that this woman will clear it up? My blood boils.

Your sense of entitlement knows no bounds, I see that. Would you sit at a restaurant table that hasn’t been cleaned? Would you be prepared to clean that mess up? Would you shut up about it if someone did the same to you? If your answer is no, then you need to learn. People like this create a ruckus when the same things happen to them, which shows their character.

I know I can’t change the world by ranting like this. And I don’t even think of myself as someone who has the power to change the world by writing just one article or by sharing my experiences. But if these examples help even one person understand the difference between what’s right and what’s not, then I will think of having succeeded via my writing!

Here’s to a more understanding, sensible world!

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